Samsung’s rapid charge EV battery aims to remedy ‘range anxiety’

Korean technology company Samsung's lithium ion and renewables division wants to bring fast charging battery cell technology into mass production for electric vehicles (EVs), with the company offering 600km driving ranges and 20-minute charge times.

Unveiled at the North American International Auto Show this week, Samsung SDI, which provides systems and power to likes of BMW, unveiled an “integrated battery module” that boasts quick charge times, long distance ranges and a 10% decrease in component units and weight.

An official from Samsung SDI said: “The high-energy density battery cell with the fast charging capability and the integrated battery module are the innovative technologies with full potentials that can transform the market. Expectations are high that we will be able to accelerate the vehicle electrification utilising these technologies with improved driving range, manufacturing efficiency and user convenience.”

Mass production of the product has been slated for 2021 and Samsung SDI claimed that with a 20-minute charge, the battery cell can perform at 80% capacity with a 500km drive range. If the technology is able to hit these specifications, it would outperform what an average fully-charged Tesla Model S can offer.

Samsung has described the technology as “smartphone-like” due to the decreased weight of the unit, which it hopes will stop consumers suffering from “range anxiety” as a result. The new unit is also aimed at maximising the safety and energy efficiency of EVs. The “integrated” models double the number of cells on a battery from six to 12 to offer a 6-8kWh capacity – more than double the six-cell capacity of 2-3kWh.

The company also showcased a full line-up of 12V and 48V Low Voltage Systems (LVS) in response to tougher emission regulations. The LVS products offer a fuel saving performance 20% more efficient than conventional internal combustion engines.

In for a freight

While Samsung’s new products seek to integrate into higher performing commercial EVs, steps are being introduced to bring business-owned fleets and freight vehicles up to speed with the decarbonisation process.

On Wednesday (11 January), the UK Government unveiled a £20m investment for firms developing low-carbon vehicle projects as part of an overarching plan for all new cars and vans to be zero-emission by 2040.

Transport Minister John Hayes announced that 20 businesses would benefit from the low-emission freight and logistics trial. One company to benefit from the trials is infrastructure specialists Zapinamo. The firm was awarded £2.2m by the Department of Transport to trial ultra-high speed rapid and movable charging technology in the UK.

Zapinamo claims that its technology can use on/off grid and renewable sources for charging infrastructure, and is capable of delivering more than 400kW through a charge in minutes.

“It is fantastic that Zapinamo is willing to explore zero emission technologies, which will help improve air quality and reduce pollution in towns and cities,” Hayes said. “This is yet another important significant step towards this government’s commitment to reduce carbon emissions from transport to help tackle climate change.”

From September 2017, new diesel cars on UK roads will have to meet more stringent Euro 6 emissions limits, while the Department for Transport (DfT) recently announced plans to increase the convenience and availability of EV chargepoints. In the Autumn Statement, the Government announced a further £290m to support electric vehicles, low emission buses and taxis, and alternative fuels.

edie’s innovation month

The month of January sees edie shift the editorial spotlight to green innovation, with a series of exclusive interviews, features and podcasts running throughout the month to celebrate the very best of emerging clean technologies and low-carbon systems.

Change will not happen without genuine innovation and so this month will explore the bleeding edge where change is really happening. From emerging tech to new business models; breakthrough approaches and creative leaders, we’ll shine the spotlight on the real game-changers and sort the facts from the fads.

Read all of edie’s innovation content here.

Matt Mace

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